Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), March 2023 


The Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) summarizes the state of knowledge of climate change, its impacts and risks, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, based on peer-reviewed scientific, technical, and socio-economic literature published since the release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in 2014. 

Main findings relevant to climate-induced displacement: 

  • Climate change is increasing weather and climate extremes around the world. Climate change is already affecting weather and climate extremes in every region of the world, including heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones. Weather and climate extreme events will become larger in the near term with global warming. 
  • Increasing weather and climate extremes are causing widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people. Weather and climate extremes have exposed millions of people to acute food insecurity and reduced water security, with the largest impacts in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, least developed countries, small island states, and the Arctic, and for small-scale food producers, low-income households, and indigenous peoples. Losses and damages are projected to increase with global warming. 
  • Poor and vulnerable communities will continue to be disproportionately affected. Vulnerability to climate-related hazards is higher in places with poverty, governance challenges and limited access to basic services and resources, violent conflict, and high levels of climate-sensitive livelihoods (e.g., smallholder farmers, pastoralists, fishing communities), as many of these factors constrain adaptation options.  
  • Future exposure to climatic hazards is increasing globally due to socio-economic development trends such as growing inequality, and when urbanization or migration increase exposure.  
  • Climate change is increasingly driving displacement and involuntary migration, exacerbating vulnerability. Climate and weather extremes are increasingly triggering displacement in Africa, Asia, North America, and Central and South America, with small island states in the Caribbean and South Pacific disproportionately affected relative to their population size. Climate-induced displacement and involuntary migration is in turn generating and perpetuating vulnerability. 
  • Reducing future risks of involuntary migration and displacement due to climate change is possible through cooperative, international efforts to enhance institutional adaptive capacity and sustainable development. Increasing adaptive capacity minimizes risk associated with involuntary migration and immobility and improves the degree of choice under which migration decisions are made, while policy interventions can remove barriers and expand the alternatives for safe, orderly, and regular migration that allows vulnerable people to adapt to climate change.